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Omar Suleiman Seems To Be Egypt’s Military Pick For President

April 9, 2012

There is no doubt that the military rulers in Egypt are the players behind Omar Suleiman.  This is one of the nations that Americans need to have their eyes focused, as this election cycle in Egypt matters a great deal.

Mr. Suleiman, a retired general, could become a magnet for the support of Egyptians most unhappy with the revolt that ousted Mr. Mubarak. Although the uprising produced Egypt’s first free and fair parliamentary elections, it has also led to more than a year of continued street protests, soaring crime rates, an economy on the brink of collapse and an increase in the power of both moderate and conservative Islamists.

Although almost no one is calling for Mr. Mubarak’s release from confinement or for a restoration of his government, many long for order. And a few still whisper that it takes a strong hand to control a country like Egypt, with its high rates of poverty and illiteracy.

Mr. Suleiman’s closeness to Mr. Mubarak is hard to overstate, and he was often talked about, along with the former president’s son Gamal, as a potential successor. For decades, Mr. Suleiman was Mr. Mubarak’s closest adviser, often trusted with the most delicate matters, like Egypt’s talks with Israel and the Palestinians.

As chief of intelligence, Mr. Suleiman knew all the secrets of the old government, its friends and its enemies. American officials have said that on matters of foreign policy, talking to Mr. Suleiman was as good as talking to Mr. Mubarak himself, and State Department cables released by the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks show that Mr. Suleiman collaborated with the United States in the interrogation of people suspected of being terrorists. Torture was routine under the Mubarak government’s security services.

The cables also show that Mr. Suleiman equated the Muslim Brotherhood, the moderate Islamist group that now dominates the Egyptian Parliament, with dangerous radicalism. He shared the Mubarak government’s opposition to democratic reforms on the grounds that they would open Egypt to a takeover by the Brotherhood. In an American television interview in the days before Mr. Mubarak was forced from power, Mr. Suleiman said that Egypt was not ready for democracy.

After the uprising began, Mr. Mubarak said he would not run for re-election, and he named Mr. Suleiman his vice president, effectively tapping him to become the next president under Egypt’s old system of rigged elections. When Mr. Mubarak was forced to leave power by a council of generals to end the revolt, Mr. Suleiman announced the transfer on state television.

His speech appeared involuntary. A burly man — later identified as an air force officer — stood behind him, possibly to ensure that Mr. Suleiman delivered his lines, and the guardian became an Egyptian folk hero known as “the man behind Omar Suleiman.”

 

One Comment
  1. skip1930 permalink
    April 10, 2012 1:08 AM

    Sounds like one more ruthless military ruler taking over. A former chief of intelligence…

    And the Muslim Brotherhood, the moderate Islamist group that now dominates the Egyptian Parliament, with dangerous radicalism. He shared the Mubarak government’s opposition to democratic reforms on the grounds that they would open Egypt to a takeover by the Brotherhood.

    Well see what happens with ‘mob rule’? Egypt deserves no less than to be in total bloody hell for years.

    Sounds like Russia’s newly elected president, Putin. Former KGB director. Can anybody say Syria all over again?

    skip.

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